(SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.) — When park rangers tell hikers to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures, they probably aren’t talking about selfies.
At least that’s what visitors to Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe, California, are learning.
Park officials say that too many people are trying to take selfies with wild bears.
“We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo,” Lisa Herron, spokesperson for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “It is presenting a safety issue. We are afraid someone is going to get attacked.”
Manut Buapet was at Taylor Creek last week. She said tourists flocked to the bears, which weren’t afraid to come close.
“There were like 30 people taking pictures of themselves with the bears,” Buapet told ABC News. “I was concerned. You never know what’s going to happen with bears, but people just stuck around.”
There were no park officials around to keep the people and bears at a safe distance, said Buapet.
“They weren’t scared at all of the people,” she said, adding that “some parents were trying to keep the kids away.”
One bear cub came as close as two feet to the tourists, Muapet said.
A photo posted by @lindasmarley on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:20am PDT
If the problem persists, officials have threatened to close off the popular bear-sighting area, which runs along the south shore of Lake Tahoe, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Taylor Creek usually sees an increase in bears around this time of year because they feed on kokanee salmon, which make their annual swim through the creek.
A photo posted by sssmayhem (@sssmayhem) on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:14pm PDT
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